Continued M&A Strength in Spite of the Political Circus, Limping Economy and Stock Market Volatility

Wall Street and American Flags, depicting the U.S. Stock Market

Feb 10, 2016

Continued M&A Strength in Spite of the Political Circus, Limping Economy and Stock Market Volatility

Market Update , 0 Comments

This month’s M&A Market Update follows presents a fairly strong picture of the m&a market in the dozen plus sectors that we follow and sometimes lead. It’s comforting to know that some markets are solid while the global economy as well as the global stock, bond and commodities markets largely seem to muddle along: more down than up lately.

We’re more bullish than most. The pundits tell us that the nation’s economic fundamentals are sound, volatility is the new normal, and patience is the new watch word. The dollar is still strong, interest rates low and most companies we talk to tell us that 2016 is looking solidly better than 2015, which, in turn, was better than 2014.

Meanwhile, the quadrennial U.S. Presidential election circus is now officially underway. At this early stage, the aspirants for leader of the Free World run the gamut from evangelical right to socialist left, with a large gaggle of candidates in between – some of which are qualified, some of which are not, and some of which defy categorization. They all posture, plead, pontificate and propose policies many of which they know (or should know) are unlikely to ever be implemented. But the stakes are real. Each U.S. President has tremendous influence on the country’s direction, image and future. The next one will be no exception. Legislation will be passed; cabinet members, judges and regulators will be appointed; budgets will be allocated, priorities established; rules and precedents set. Wars may be started – or not. Perhaps those who drive the financial markets are waiting to see what will happen next. Perhaps they are anticipating. I’m bullish on this front as well. It looks to me that we have a decent chance to ultimately elect someone who knows how to work with all parties to move the country forward in a constructive direction – and not perpetuate gridlock. Meanwhile deals keep getting done including:

  • Xignite (M&A client) (San Mateo, CA) raised $20.5mm in a Series C round led by QUICK Corporation (press release HERE);
  • TSYS (NYSE:TSS) agreed to acquire TransFirst from Vista Equity Partners for $2.4bn in cash, valuing the company at an implied 13.8x adjusted EBITDA;
  • IHS (NYSE:IHS) agreed to acquire Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) for $650mm;
  • Qingdao Haili Metal One (Jimo City, China) agreed to acquire a 91.5% stake in Union Mobile Pay for CNY 3.0bn (~$462mm);
  • FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) agreed to acquire iSight Security for $269mm;
  • Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV) agreed to acquire the community financial services business of ACI Worldwide for $200mm;
  • Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) agreed to acquire AddThis for $175mm;
  • Flatiron Health (New York, NY) raised $175mm in a Series C round led by Roche;
  • NICE Systems (NASDAQ:NICE) agreed to acquire Nexidia for $135mm;
  • GRAIL (San Diego, CA) raised $100mm in a Series A round from Illumnia and ARCH Ventures Partners.

Our primary responsibility as bankers is to do as much as we can to advise our clients bearing in mind their long-term best interests. Our responsibility as citizens is to do what we can to elect leaders who take the same approach for the long-term best interests of the country, the economy, the people and the future of the broader world community in which we live.

Read this month’s M&A Market Update HERE.

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